Nov 10, 2012; Stillwater OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (1) runs for yardage during the first quarter against West Virginia Mountaineers cornerback Cecil Level (24) at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

Needless Negativity About The Cowboys Draft

All of the selections are in: 1st round- Center Travis Frederick, 2nd round-Tight End Gavin Escobar, 3rd round-Receiver Terrance Williams, 3rd round-Safety J.J. Wilcox, 4th round-Cornerback B.W. Webb, 5th round-Running Back Joseph Randle and 6th round-Linebacker DeVonte Holloman.

Dec 27, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Travis Frederick at press conference for the 2013 Rose Bowl at the L.A. Hotel Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

You have heard, and will continue to hear, that the Cowboys were big losers in this draft.  But says who, self-proclaimed experts that write about it?  If they were being paid by an NFL team to evaluate talent their opinions would be valid, if not, then their opinion is no more valid than mine or yours.  And if you are up in arms about the perceived terrible job the Cowboys did this time around, be sure it’s based on something you discovered about their selections and that you’re not just parroting someone else’s opinion.

After all, you really can’t truly grade a team’s draft until you see the selected players in action as part of the team.  It seems to me we run this drill every year, where everyone with an opinion says the Cowboys had a terrible draft and then later, when we see selected players in action, such as Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, DeMarco Murray and Dwayne Harris, we see they drafted pretty well.  So, when the Cowboys move back in a trade and then grab their top rated center they are subject to much ridicule.  And when other teams do the same thing, it’s reportedly OK, since this player is a good fit for their system.  I am sure the Cowboys feel the same about Travis Frederick and how he fits their system

Maybe he was a projected second or third round pick by many, the bottom of the first is pretty close to the second round and close enough that you better take him there if you really want him and feel he might be gone when you pick again in the middle of the second.  Even if no one else does, the Cowboys know the value of the center position.  We all know how terribly the offensive line played last year.  The running game was horrible and Tony Romo spent a lot of time running for his life.  But in his one complete game, Phil Costa at center versus the Baltimore Ravens, the Cowboys had a record day running the ball.  Based on that, I think I’ll give the Cowboys the benefit of the doubt on knowing what they need to do to fix the offensive line.

How do you offset what many consider to be a reach at the bottom of the first round?  You grab late first or early second round talent at wide receiver in the third round, as the Cowboys did with Baylor wide-out Terrance Williams.  Some might question that pick, with Dwayne Harris picking up his game last year, but I think the selection is Miles Austin insurance more than anything else.  And if you are picking the best player available, you have to take him if he’s still there.  And while we are talking about receivers, Gavin Escobar appears to be a solid selection.  He will need to do some work on his blocking in order to be a complete NFL tight end, but he will certainly start out as another weapon for Tony Romo in the passing game.

Jason Witten is still playing at a very high level, but at 31, it’s time for Dallas to start grooming his successor.  In the meantime, if you think defensive coordinators have a difficult stopping the two tight end offense of the New England Patriots, imagine trying to stop a three tight end offense starring Witten, Escobar and James Hanna.  I’m looking forward to seeing that.  And that’s a break from the past.  In the past, the second tight end whether it be Martellus Bennett or John Phillips, was primarily a blocker.  The Cowboys will make a real effort this year to make the second tight end in the set a weapon at receiver too.

Joseph Randle is a solid pick and a great value as a fifth round selection.  He really appears to mirror the talents of DeMarco Murray, a steal in his own right, having been selected in the third round.  No one wants to see Murray go down, but there is reason to be more confident that the offense can keep on clicking with a quality back, such as Randle, coming in to replace him.  The Cowboys selected three defensive players as well, and they all seem to be solid selections too, with the common refrain being that they are hard hitters.

Some are bemoaning the fact that the Cowboys didn’t make more defensive selections or add more offensive lineman, but if you are taking the best player available, it just doesn’t always work out that way.  They can still sign free agent Eric Winston if they feel he is an upgrade over Doug Free and Jeremy Parnell.  The bottom line is the Cowboys did a much better job in the 2013 draft than they will ever get credit for, at least until these players become impossible to ignore when excelling on the field of play.   There should be no surprises here either, since all of the selections visited Valley Ranch before the draft.

So, if you’re in a frenzy of negativity over this draft, take a chill pill and wait to see how they look on the field of play as part of the team.  That’s when we know how good their draft was, or was not.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Gavin Escobar Joseph Randle Travis Frederick

  • Keith Ranson

    Well, When CRITICAL Team Needs,OL And DL, Are Ignored, Just What Did You Expect?

    • Winston

      I wonder just who, and be specific, would the nay-sayers have picked for the OL and DL at the 18th pick. I don’t think anyone the Cowboys felt was worthwhile was there. You can’t grab someone and say he is my fix for the OL or DL.

  • Odelleducate

    Great article, because it contains independent thought. It’s nice to know that there are still people on planet earth who think for themselves.

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    The players they left on the board tells you how awful Dallas evaluated players. Sure they got some decent picks but decent does not cut it in the NFL and decent picks in the past is what has made Dallas a mediocre team. It is also true that you never know about the draft until after they are playing. However, many hours were spent by scouts evaluating players in the draft and consensus is that Dallas did not draft the best players available. Would you have picked a projected fith round pick in the first round if you feared he might not be available? The draft just didn’t make any sense.

    • Chad Keller

      It may not make sense to you, but this draft made total sense to me. These last 3 drafts has not been JJ. This has Garrett all over it. He knows what type of players he wants on his football team. I like all 7 of their picks and I believe they will all contribute in a big way this year. Also more possessions and longer drives on offense gives the time for defense to rest. Monte and crew said they love their depth at DL but wanted more depth at linebacker. They did just that and added some in UDFA. An Henderson really wanted Wilcox on that back end for him. He will make this guy a true stud back there and will have WR feared of going through the middle. Escobar is a huge red zone threat. How many times did we get FG when touchdowns could have won us the game. Let these guy play before you right a book on this story of the 2013 draft.

  • Jerrys Hemmoroid

    We have been 8-8 for two years in a row. We have won just one playoff game in 15 years, Those results speak volumes about our GM’s drafting ability. Don’t believe any more of his BS. His son is a chemical engineer-”he is smart.” Dumbass Jerry’s circus is not going to overrun football professional GM’s and coachs like Shanahan, the New Eagles coach, The NY Football Giants with his tired old oil field hunches and his chemical engineer son. Jerry is an embarrassment to this franchise. Dont just look at this draft look at the aggregate of the last 15 years.

  • smudog

    Can’t suck and blow at the same time, i,e, saying that you can’t call this a bad draft because all the information isn’t in, yet calling it a good draft in the summary of your article. IMHO the Cowboys could have done better, that’s all.